TAP: Hennesy Youngman

Hennesy Youngman talks MAD art in this brief but PACKED video: ART THOUGHTZ: Relational Aesthetics

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The Law of Maximized Irony

I have a metaphysical theory that I call The Law of Maximized Irony:

In a nutshell, any set of initial circumstances will resolve to the state of greatest irony.

Case in point:

With increasing frequency we see incredulous stories about artists who’ve made careers out of cribbing other people’s work suing artists who have copied them. Is it flat out hypocrisy, or good business strategy — or both? Whatever is behind it, the story makes for a lot of really good laughs.

Check out my latest in Hyperallergic:

Is a Cease and Desist About Irony, Hypocrisy or Legal Strategy?

 

Portrait 5 Stephen(s), 2010 Lot #1

Stephen(s)
Portrait 5, Stephen(s), 2010

The whimsical Phillips de Pury & Company website is, as I’ve noted in the past, a remedy to prim auction house hem-haw. And I am pleased that Lot #1 of their Under the Influence auction of March 8, went for a full quarter of  it’s estimated $100, 000 to hammer at $26,000 — the full proceeds of which, will benefit DonorsChoose.org, which sends dollars to classrooms with projects in need of materials and resources.

It is much the credit of PdP that they take on nonsense and give full fluff to the requisite irony.

Here’s the site description of Lot #1, in it’s full glory:

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FULL PROCEEDS BENEFIT DONORSCHOOSE.ORG

STEPHEN COLBERT, SHEPARD FAIREY, ANDRES SERRANO AND FRANK STELLA

Portrait 5, Stephen(s), 2010

Inkjet on canvas, with acrylic spray paint, Sharpie, looked-at-edness of Frank Stella. Printed at 291 Digital in New York. Suitable for Framing.  47 x 36 in. (not available in metric)  Signed “Andres Serrano” lower left.

ESTIMATE: AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

SOLD AT $26,000

PROVENANCE The Colbert Report

In an ambitious on-going work that calls to mind the sprawling constructed worlds of Matthew Barney and identity-questioning narratives of Sophie Calle, TV pundit and conceptual artist Stephen Colbert has been performing his site-specific installation, “The Colbert Report,”…

Read More…

You got TV all over my artwork…

Right: Colbert to Serrano, "You made me Charlie Chaplan!" Left: detail of Shep's stencil work

Got a piece of art with some TV sticking to it?  Call the fun-loving specialists at Phillips de Pury.

When Abdi Farah won the Bravo reality show, Work of Art, his 2010 “Baptism” went to auction at Phillips de Pury, selling for $20,000.

And now that Steve Martin has declared Stephen Colbert’s re-worked portrait, “a viable artwork” that “could be auctioned,” well: Phillips de Pury has snatched it up.

Created during a segment on The Colbert Report intended to promote guest Steve Martin’s latest book, An Object of Beauty, the portrait was gazed upon by Frank Stella, sprayed by Shepard Fairey, and then doodled upon and signed by Andre Serrano.

Asked what he’d done to improve it, Fairey told Colbert, “I made your agenda as an omnipotent quasi-fascist orator, and shaper of our politics and culture, that much more obvious as manipulation.”

In the brave company of other works of similarly dubious heft, like those of Donald Baechler and Dan Colen, Colbert’s mash-up will be on the block tomorrow. Though the Phillips de Pury  site describes the collaboration in hilarious art-speak,  the estimate is not ironic at $100,000.

Profits will go to DonorsChoose.org, an online charity designed to connect donors with classrooms in need.

Have Your Cake: Armory 2011

Armory 2011Not just to be traditional in hating the big ones, but just to be hands down honest, I have to say that the 2011 Armory show was pretty dull going. And that, despite Marjorie Strider becoming the new Tom Wesselmann even while the old Tom Wesselmann is still squeaking out dozens of tiny tin farts in the form of those homely little steelcuts.

I didn’t really hate Strider so much before I saw her tryptich and then wandered through a forest of Mel Ramos while contemplating the sad little Wesselmanns that were keeping lonely vigil on narrow, barely examined walls. The thing about Strider is that she’s on a tribute bandwagon but all I see when I look at her vapid models is the lack of design, something Wesselmann had going in spades. Mel’s just a boner machine and that’s swell, but, dare I ask, is it STILL art? I mean, at best this sort of thing was sort of politically, and socially clever, a way of  “having your cake and eating it too” — but now, it’s just “eating it.”


A 1976 Tom Wesselmann, Study for Bedroom Face at Hollis Taggart Galleries. Not that I would ever have dreamed of saying this, but really, for a bit of hammer over the head symbolism and some swell Matisse-like P&D appeal, Wesselmann had it. Photo courtesy of Hollis Taggart Galleries

Marjorie Strider, the new Wesselmann: Green Tryptych at Hollis Taggart. Dumb stuff. Photo Courtesy Hollis Taggart Galleries

 

This lovely deeply textural 1979 Pousette Dart, Red Oasis, also courtesy Hollis Taggart Galleries

Theme #2 this year was TEXTURE, with a good deal of the newer work being so irresistable to touch that there were signs warning one not to. I found that most of my photos of these works were awful, so I snagged this one, below, from the Galerie Thomas site.

A continued respect for Pousette Dart and Gerhard Richter were also indicative that a love of texture may be ongoing trend. So Holis Taggart had Strider, but also a Pousette Dart room as well, and it was salon full of those cakey little bakeys, old and new, most of them petite (oldies cranking out tiny newies was a subtheme, I must say, with many sub-sized John Chamberlains and not a few teensy Stellas clinging to the walls like exotic bugs).

Theme #3 would be Tricky Optics: A lot of wires and tubes played tricks on my eyes, (and my horrid camera), there were many lovely pieces of drilled and molded acrylic, and acrylic layered on canvas and also on enamel… chunky colorful and textural, these layered works were just about the only pieces that were flattered by the awful lighting and industrial feel of the Armory.

Marta Chilindron, Fire, 2010 at Cecillia De Torres, LTD.

The cleverest work I saw was also the dullest. It attracted a good deal of attention due to Juan Genoves’ use of paint as a bas relief medium, creating weensy beensy people out of charming colored blobs. Very dear and eye-catching, but ultimately pointless.

 

Juan Genoves' Little Paint-built peeps climb on the canvas of Magma, 2009 at Marlborough

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